Pocket Listings and Private Listings

Pocket Listings and Private Listings


Spring market is off to a busy start as homebuyers and sellers regain confidence following a volatile 2022. But across all price points, standing inventory remains a challenge.

"It's not that there aren't homes for sale. It's that homes are selling very quickly, in many cases before they even hit the market," said Thad Wong, co-CEO of @properties Christie's International Real Estate.

It's that last point that often confounds homebuyers. The reality is listings can show up in different "markets" – some highly visible, others less so. Understanding the inner workings of these various markets will give buyers and sellers the best chance for success in the current environment.


Pocket listings are homes that are for sale but not yet listed in the MLS. In this case, the listing agent will directly market the property to a targeted audience of agents and potential buyers. Sellers often go this route because they want to test the market and/or they're still making selling preparations. Selling or buying a "pocket" often comes down to relationships, and agents with strong relationships and networks give their clients an edge.


The Private Listing Network or PLN is another "market within the market." Private listings are listed in the MLS but aren't syndicated to public websites like Zillow and Realtor.com. Therefore, they're only visible to agents (although certain technologies can display private listings to buyers who are working with an agent). Private listings also don't accumulate market time, so again, it's a way for agents and sellers to test the market before going all in.


Once a home is actively listed in the MLS and not designated "Private," it becomes visible to all agents and – via syndicated feeds – to the public. Public listings receive the highest level of exposure.

@properties Christie's International Real Estate leverages technology to facilitate what is actually a very efficient market across this full landscape. Tools like our proprietary @agent app and Zenlist, which allows buyers to search both public and private listings, put more power and information into our clients' hands.

Whether you're buying or selling, reach out to learn how technology, relationships and a sound strategy can give you an advantage in today's competitive marketplace.